AAU, COGR and APLU recommend that OMB require Federal agencies to adopt common research terms and conditions. We believe NSF, NIH, USDA NIFA, NIST, NOAA, DOE, FAA, EPA and NASA are creating common RTCs, but other agencies have opted out. Clear and consistent data definitions are also needed. Not all federal agencies are signing on to federal-wide research terms and conditions for federal awards under the Uniform Guidance ...more »
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Grants practices and processes
Key Participants: grantees, cooperative agreement holders, subgrantees
- Question: If you could change one thing that would ease your reporting burden associated with your grants or subgrants, what would it be (e.g., time, cost, resource burden)?
- Question: If you have reporting requirements to the Federal government, how are those met? (feel free to be specific about what is reported to whom and through what mechanism)
- Question: If you could create a central reporting portal into which you could submit all required reports, what capabilities/functions would you include?
OMB circular A-133:
- Question: If you could make a change to ease your reporting burden for audits under the Single Audit Act (i.e., audits required by OMB Circular A-133 which is being replaced by the Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200 Subpart F), what one thing would you change about reporting by the auditee?
- Question: If you could make a change to ease your reporting burden for audits under the Single Audit Act (i.e., audits required by OMB Circular A-133 which is being replaced by the Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200 Subpart F), what one thing would you change about reporting by the auditor?
- Question: If you could make a change to ease your reporting burden for audits under the Single Audit Act (i.e., audits required by OMB Circular A-133 which is being replaced by the Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200 Subpart F), what one thing would you change about reporting to the Federal Audit Clearinghouse?
Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200):
- Question: Are there requirements in the new 2 CFR 200 that need additional clarification for improved implementation with reduced administrative burden ?
- Question: What are the perceived burdens associated with the new standards such as the documentation of salaries & wages and time & effort (2 CFR 200.430), subrecipient monitoring (2 CFR 200.331), procurement standards (2 CFR 200.317- 2 CFR 200.324)?
- Question: How can the administrative burden associated with standards compliance be lowered?
AAU, COGR and APLU recommend that OMB raise the micropurchase threshold from $3,000 to $10,000 to reflect current practices. As data supports a higher threshold, OMB should consider future adjustments. The UG has introduced a category known as “Micro-Purchases,” defined as purchase transactions up to $3,000, below which there is no requirement to document competition. This was not included in the proposed guidance so ...more »
AAU, COGR and APLU recommend that OMB clarify that where a subrecipient has a current Single Audit report, prime recipients can rely on the subrecipient’s auditors and cognizant agency oversight for routine audit follow-up and management decisions. Science is engendering an increased number of collaborative projects, resulting in significant growth in the number of subawards issued and received by institutions of higher ...more »
AAU, COGR and APLU recommend a common federal portal for grants submission, invoicing/cash draw downs, and final reporting (e.g., progress, financial, equipment) with a single set of rules, forms and due dates (potentially using NSF policy and guidelines as a model). A common portal would significantly ease reporting burden. - Consolidate federal proposal and award management systems, including payment systems, optimally ...more »
AAU, COGR and APLU recommend that agencies eliminate quarterly financial reports once they have transitioned to subaccounts. Institutions draw down cash by award accounts on a regular basis, typically monthly. This provides agencies with up-to-date financial information and renders additional financial reports unnecessary. Agencies should also consider whether there is a need for annual and final financial reports and ...more »
AAU, COGR and APLU recommend that OMB clarify in regulation that personal activity reports are not required under the Uniform Guidance (UG); that awardees do not have to certify payroll expenses; and that cognizant agency approval is not needed to implement alternatives to effort reporting that meet the UG standards of documentation. The Uniform Guidance provides institutions with increased flexibility to document ...more »
AAU, COGR and APLU recommend that OMB strongly encourage Federal agencies to issue collaborative/linked awards as an alternative to subawards. Separately submitted collaborative proposals allow two or more PIs/institutions to manage separate awards for a single, unified project.
AAU, COGR, and APLU recommend that OMB and federal research funding agencies and/or cognizant agencies work with the research community to explore the optional use of alternatives to measures of time as a means of assessing proper use of federal funds (e.g., information provided in progress reports and publications as an alternative to documenting personnel charges) as well as means of reducing reporting requirements. ...more »
AAU, COGR and APLU recommend that OMB eliminate the DS-2 requirement for institutions of higher education. The DS-2 is a document setting forth an institution’s accounting practices with regard to federal funds that requires approval by the institution’s cognizant agency for indirect costs. It is a transposition of accounting policies and practices that are already documented elsewhere, usually on an institution’s website ...more »
AAU, COGR and APLU recommend that OMB clarify the conflict of interest regulations in section 200.112 of the Uniform Guidance. OMB should make a technical correction to the UG, removing “selection of a subrecipient” to clarify that the intent of the regulations is to address conflicts that might arise around how a non-Federal entity expends funds under a Federal award and not to individual financial interests and work ...more »
Since the publication of the Uniform Guidance UG), institutions have seen various Conflict of Interest (COI) terms and conditions embedded within broad agency announcements and proposal solicitations, despite the lack of formal agency-wide policies or guidelines in most cases. The specific requirements for what financial interests and relationships need to be disclosed, the nature and timing of reviews, and even definitions ...more »
Currently, the submission to the Federal Audit Clearinghouse requires a PDF file (Single Audit Reporting Package/Audit Report Package) in addition to some of the same data provided in Form SF-SAC. Since all of the components of the Single Audit Reporting Package are posted on websites, I suggest we provide links to these documents rather than create a PDF of all of the documents. In addition, the format we use for our ...more »